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Trip Reports August - December 2017

Click on the title of each report to read the full story, click on each photograph to view an enlargement.

Elco - Hopkins                                                                                            15th-16th July

As planned the two of us departed Timaru at 7am on Saturday morning. The sky was clear with no wind. We drove in to the base of the track that climbs up to Dasler Biv. This clocked up on the GPS as just on 3km return so not far but taking around 3 ½ hour return. This was a reasonably challenging walk with snow on the track, a large rock wall which carried some snow which made it quite slippery and not a lot of foot grips actually had a chain to help out – otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get up there! As we got out of the beech forest and in to the open tops we were in around up to a metre of snow. After spending some time taking in the amazing views and scenery and lunch stop in Dasler biv, we made our way down.


Arthurs Pass Weekend                                                                              5th & 6th August 2017

We drove to Arthur’s Pass departing 5.30pm from Timaru. After a couple of brief stops we arrived around 9.30pm. Our accommodation for the weekend was the Christchurch Tramping Club Hut. In no time we were settled in and appreciating this great accommodation.

Up at 7am on Saturday the day looked promising towards Bealey Spur our planned walk for the day. The weather towards the west looked somewhat stormy but managed to keep to the west of the Waimakariri River.

We set off from the car-park around 9am

The track is well used and well-marked. It climbs gently up the spur, through mountain beech forest. The track with patches of muddy and wet bits, some bird life was observed and views looking down into Bruce Stream.


Mt Alford                                                                                                       Saturday 16th September

Two cars with nine trampers left Timaru at 0800. Weather looked changeable but did improve as we approached Mt Alford Scenic Reserve and the start of the walk.

The track is well poled with orange markers. As we walked up through a beech forest, we all enjoyed the welcoming bird song. Further up, the track emerged onto tussocky grassland. We stopped for a break at a well-positioned picnic bench. Enjoying the lovely sunshine.

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Lake Christabel Circuit                                                                                   23-25 September 2017


Christine's notice said three 6-7 hour reasonably big days so good fitness required...'.  With earlier snow falls, windfalls and a forecast wet day 3 for a 69 year old this proved to be an understatement!

Wayne Cassidy picked up Christine M, Wayne K, John H, and Jim P on the Friday afternoon and we reached Springs Junction about 9.30pm to stay in the simple motel behind the Cafe - open 24/7 since the Kaikoura earthquake.

 A bike was left at the far end of Palmers Rd and we started walking into Lake Christabel at 8.30am. Plenty of birdsong, 5 kakas, great lake views, reasonable track and we reached the standard 8 bunk hut at5.30pm.  Excellent meals from Christine, a sleep in for Wayne C and we left  just before 7am.

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Lyttleton Kayaking Weekend                                                                             14th -15th October 2017

Two cars and 8 keen kayakers left Timaru shortly after 0700 on Saturday morning. We had a quick coffee and pie stop in Lincoln and then continued on to Orton Bradley Park at Charteris Bay. Pete and Sandy had travelled up the previous night so had already settled in. Judy had booked the Outdoor Centre for the night which gave us access to a fully equipped kitchen and showers. A large dining / activities room provided loads of space and an inviting alternative to pitching a tent! We were all very impressed with the Park as it offered a wide range of interesting activities:

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Mt Oxford                                                                                           Saturday 18th November 2017

Barry Wayne Ally and Christine had an early start departing from Timaru at 6.30am. It was a 2.5 hour drive from Timaru to the Coopers Creek car-park arriving on 9am. There were already a few cars parked at car-park and there was a thin layer of cloud hanging on the tops which wafted in and out. We set off initially following a vehicle track which took us passed bee hives, a scout camp, crossed the Coopers Creek stream then a gradual climb to start on a well-worn track then on to a steeper gradient.

Cass Lagoon                                                                                                         11th – 12th November 2017

We drove from Timaru on Friday after work (5.30pm) and arrived at our destination of Lake Pearson at 8.30pm still in daylight and a beautiful still clear evening with time to put tents up before darkness arrived.

It was quite chilly overnight and up in the morning to a bit of cloud to start the day. We were packed up and away now with just a short drive to firstly organise the drop off of a car at the Bealey end of the track and leaving the other vehicle at Cass end of track.

Snowy Gorge & Hide-away Biv                                                                           2-3 December 2017

Departing Timaru at 7am and with a brief stop at Omarama it was approximately a 2 hour 45 min drive to the car park alongside the Ahuriri River. Ready and walking at 10am was to pick the best spot to cross the river which was at a reasonable level and flow to make crossing safely.

From here it was a long stretch of river bed and flats before reaching the Snowy Gorge River on the other side. The Snowy Gorge River had a reasonable flow but was easy enough to cross. From here we navigated our way upwards gradually onto large grassy terraces on the western side of the river.